Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Handmade Cloths


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 179 of Jeaniene Frost's Halfway to the Grave:

"She has a real talent with knives. It's a damn good thing she hadn't practiced throwing them before we met, or I might not be here."

Monday, January 27, 2014

Writing a Trilogy

I suppose my title says it all but I am so surprised by this development in my writing life. I love reading series (whether they be trilogies, quartets or longer) but never thought I'd be writing one. And yet I am 85% of the way through writing the draft for book two of my trilogy. When I started writing book one I thought it was a standalone. It wasn't until about halfway through writing that book that I realized I had the makings of a trilogy. One of the secondary characters leaped off the pages and into my imagination. He was very insistent that he had an entire story of his own to tell. It was very difficult for me not to start writing about him and his lady love immediately. Yes, I knew exactly who she was to be, as well. However, I did make a bunch of notes about them for when their time came. As I finished the first book I realized I was going to have to make a few big changes to it in order to move smoothly into book two. That's all right though, I told myself. That's the purpose of revision.

Then I went straight in to writing book two. Once again, about halfway through the draft, I became aware of the characters for book three. Which means even more changes to book one - so I'm glad I hadn't revised it yet. I decided I'd write the first drafts of all three books and then go back to book one and begin the revision process.

While writing book one I wrote it as I always do - in whichever order it came to me. If something is completely out of place, that's all right, I'll just go back and fix it later. But I realized that this is really annoying to me. About the time I had this realization I read a tweet from an author I love about certain chapters always being a pain to write. It got me to thinking that she must write her books is sequential chapter order if she had that sort of knowledge about her process. And this stuck in my head. To the point that when I started book two, I decided it would be written in order from beginning to end, chapter one to the last period of the story. And guess what? Writing this was is AMAZING! I cannot believe how much more focused I have been while writing this book. Have I gotten ideas that normally would have taken me off on a tangent? Yes. Have I allowed the tangent(s) to occur? No. What I have done is to make notes on the idea in order to fill the scene in at the appropriate time within the story. However, at 85% into the draft, not one of the tangents has been necessary. I find this very interesting. I am certain that I will continue writing my books in this sequential fashion going forward.

I'm getting excited about book three as book two is winding down. I'm even excited about the revision process for all three which is a new feeling to be sure. How about you? Have you written anything that has surprised you lately? Or has anything about your process changed for the better? Please share with me. I'm so inspired by writer's habits.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Striped Mitts


 
Pretty striped crochet mitts to wear if it ever gets cold here in Southern California this winter.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's - Heartless by Gail Carriger

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 232 of Gail Carriger's Heartless:

"Now, Alexia, are you trying to match-make?"

"Maybe."

Monday, January 20, 2014

Changing My Writing Habits

I always have writing on my mind. Of course when I'm writing my mind is in the story I'm telling. However, even when I'm not plugging away on my current WIP I'm thinking about writing and the process itself. In September of 2013 I decided to make a giant change to my process by taking on The Write Chain Challenge. I've mentioned it a couple of times on this blog but quite simply, it's a goal you set with yourself (whether that be a certain number of words you want to write, pages to edit or even blogging) and achieve it each day. Each day you reach your goal, you obtain a link in your virtual write chain. If you'd like to learn more about (or even join in) this fabulous challenge, you can find more information at Think Ink: Psychology for Writers or click on my Write Chain Challenge button on the right of this page. To say that this inspirational and amazing challenge has changed my writing habits in every positive way sounds dramatic and yet it's completely true. As of today I've written for 131 consecutive days. I'm forty thousand (40k!) words into my current WIP, have two others complete and a further two in process but currently on hold.

Speaking of There's Only Now (the name of my current WIP), I'm approaching the writing of this story in a whole new-for-me way. I'm writing it in sequential order. I know, that's not in the least bit shocking for a lot of people. However, for me, it is a surprise. I always start my stories at what I believe (going into the first draft) to be the beginning. Then, at some point in the story, I start going off track. If I have an idea I write it and worry about where to fit it in to the story later. This method has about a fifty percent success rate. So, at the onset of this story I decided that I would write it in sequential order, no matter what. I have to say that it has been rather liberating. When I have gotten ideas that don't fit at the moment I've made a few notes in my writing journal but then carried on from my current place. So far, not one single jotted down idea for a scene has actually come into fruition in my sequential method. It's interesting and has me wondering if the ideas will come in at some point during the first draft, a later draft or not at all. Time will tell, as they (and apparently I) say.

The next thing on my agenda to change (and hopefully improve) is the way I edit and move forward with second and third drafts. The process of editing is a post for another day, though. For now, do share with me things that you've changed for the better within your own writing. And if you're looking for a creative boost and camaraderie in the writing world - consider joining The Write Chain Challenge.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's - Blameless by Gail Carriger

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 32 of Gail Carriger's Blameless:

"I am not convinced groveling will be quite sufficient in this instance, my lord." He was not disposed to allow his Alpha any quarter.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dessert in a Cup

I don't normally post about food or drinks or making either one on this blog. However, I've come across, and tried, something that absolutely must be shared. It's Crock Pot Hot Chocolate. It's heavenly, it's decadent, and it is DELICIOUS! As this post is titled, this is dessert in a cup. And, major bonus for me, it's EASY! Without further babble, here is the recipe:

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

1.5 cups heavy cream
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups milk chocolate chips
6 cups milk
1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Combine all of the ingredients in a crock pot and turn on low. In about two hours you'll have a rich, lovely cup of heaven in front of you.





Giving credit where it's definitely due: I found this recipe on Megan Whitmer's charming blog, which can be found here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Soulless by Gail Carriger

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Gail Carriger's Soulless:

"That may have been my fault. I spoke to him most severely, reminding him to treat you as a modern British lady, not a werewolf.